Tinder is renowned for being probably THE most shallow dating network around. You glance at someone’s photo, make a 2 second judgement on that person based purely on their looks in that one specific photo and then swipe left to get rid of them if they don’t float your boat, or swipe right if you find them physically attractive. Two seconds. That’s all it takes. Based solely on physical attraction… from one photo. Which let’s face it – could be either a good or bad representation of the other person. It could be photoshopped. It could be stolen off Google. Whether you swipe left or right, Tinder is shallow.
There is of course, a small bio for each person and some people upload more than one picture. You can see the persons age (assuming they’ve not lied about their age on Facebook), how far away from you they are and sometimes where they work, if they have this set up to show. But I guarantee, not very many people read that unless they find you attractive to begin with.
So why, would a single mum, who is 6 months pregnant, join Tinder? Who is going to want a damaged broken mum of three who is rapidly gaining weight and soon to give birth to a fourth child? I am of course, referring to myself.
Why did I join Tinder?
Well to start with, I’d separated from my husband a good 7-8 months before. I’d had my heart broken by my baby’s dad, despite only being with him a very short time and I’d been completely single for 4 months. I was a bit lonely, but I’m a strong woman who was actually, despite circumstances, coping pretty well on my own. My confidence was zero, my faith in men was zero, but with everything else, I was doing alright. So mostly I joined Tinder out of curiosity. As a social experiment. I wanted to see if a pregnant single mum could find matches. I wanted to see if Tinder was 100% shallow or if there were people on there, who could look beyond the photo.
So I downloaded Tinder and I wrote the blunt naked truth in my bio. This is what I wrote:
“So here’s the deal… I have kids. I’m pregnant. So in the eyes of many shallow people… undateable. But I’m also a strong, loyal, hardworking independent woman who loves writing, travelling and trying new things. I’m not looking for casual hook-ups or a shag. I want someone loyal, who I can cuddle up with and hold hands on dates with.”
Shockingly, I got matches.
There were admittedly a few who’d either not read my bio, or just chosen to ignore it. That or they had a fetish for pregnant women. Those conversations went a bit like this:
Man: “Would you like to sit on my face?”
Me: “No thank you!”
*I swiftly hit the unmatch button*
…Yes, there are many men who really think that this is a good chat up line… I imagine they will be on Tinder for many years to come, wondering why on earth nobody has take them up on their generous invitation yet!
Within the first week, I’d chatted to a few of my matches, but was chatting regularly to four of them. Two of them wanted to meet up, so I planned one for the Friday night and one for the Saturday night. During that week, one of those two stopped chatting, since he knew we were meeting up… I mean why continue the effort right?! The other sent me a charming photo of his knob and a thorough description of where he wanted to put it. Needless to say, I cancelled on both of them.
I was still getting matches but I was rapidly losing interest. Why? Well because one of those original four, made me laugh, made me smile with his messages and chatted to me all day. Every day. We moved off of Tinder and onto WhatsApp and the conversation flowed continuously. There was NO sex talk. NO dirty pictures on either side (and no requests for them either). There was no bullshit. Just genuine chatting and getting to know each other. We had a lot in common. We’d both been broken and hurt. We clicked as much as you can click with someone without meeting them. I saved him in my phone as “Tinderboy” and I stopped going on Tinder.
After what felt like an eternity and after many many MANY cancelled meet-ups and bailouts (from both of us), Tinderboy and I met. And we clicked straight away. It was as though we’d known each other for years. And we went from having never met, to seeing each other every day. To seeing each other several times a day. I met his mum, who is an amazing lady and who seemed to accept me straight away. They helped me do up my house. My baby kicked every time he kissed me and instead of freaking out, he bonded with it. He came with me to the hospital when the midwife sent me in for checks. He saw beauty in me, where I saw none. He was nothing like anyone I’d ever dated. And my friends said that that’s probably a good thing, because I’m usually attracted to “total pricks”. He accepted me exactly as I am, baby and children too, messy breakups still haunting me, unable to speak a word about my feelings because I’d been hurt so much in the past. And that made me want to be a better person – to be more like him, who I am yet to find a single flaw in.
Tinderboy and I are now officially “in a relationship” and have been for a few months. He was there for me when I went into labour. He instantly fell in love with Baby Bear when he was born, and the two of them have bonded beautifully. I haven’t felt this happy, in a very very long time.
So the moral of the story… Yes… Tinder is very shallow and full of sex-obsessed bellends… but it really is possible to find someone in the most unlikely of places, no matter what situation you are in. There is still hope out there for single, pregnant, broken women, to find depth amongst the shallow and to move on to better things.